This Big City

And we are live!

March 28, 2010
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It’s happened. We’re live.

The beta version of our website is complete. The code understood. The pages up and running, and the future of Hold the Front Pages is looking bright!

Ok, well, I don’t know about the future, but the present is good. I’m realy happy with how the website looks. I’m not happy with the technical side of things, as the site requires more updating than we anticipated, but visually it’s great and that’s what most users will care about. I think what has been made clear over the last few weeks is that we need to take on a technical partner for the long run, we need to abandon the Issuu platform, and we need to do everything in our power to make the site automatically update. if we can do all these things then I’ll be happy. It’s going to be hard work.

We also need to focus on promotion. We’ve been luck enough to land some free advertising in the toilets of Kingston Hill campus, though I don’t expect that to achieve massive spikes in visitors to the service. But beggars can’t be choosers. We’ve also got some promotional activities planned in central london. but essentially, we need another partner, and maybe some money for promo. Mikaela met with potential investors who are interested in the service, but want to see us implement monetising elements first, so we really need to get a technical person on board to help us add these features.

So happy to finally be up and running, and let’s see what the future holds!


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Dangerously close to launching!

March 21, 2010
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The final stages of coding are oh so frustrating! The product is very very close to being finished, but just not quite ready, and what with the coder being overseas, communication is not as quick as if they were sitting next to me. It definitely makes me question whether hiring a coder overseas was the best idea. Ultimately, we had no choice as our budget as very limited, but if budget wasn’t an issue, would we have chosen a non-local coder? Probably not. But it’s not worth losing any sleep over (although I definitely am losing plenty of sleep staying up late trying to finalise the website…).

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Awards awards awards…

March 15, 2010
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Unfortunately  I missed Uni again this week. I’m moving house in 2 weeks as well as job and had to head into london to do room viewings. Thankfully I found my new home so I can put my focus back into uni again!

Hold the Front Pages is being coded as we speak and this has thrown up many challenges. I’ve spent hours doing mock ups and emailing our coder in India and its hard work, but progress is being made. It’s tough because I just don’t know anything about coding so sometimes it feels like we’re speaking different languages, and even though his English is brilliant, he phrases sentences totally different to how an english person does and this brings additional confusion… We really want it to be ready in time for the trade fair but right now there’s no guarantees it will be.

Anyways, we have some fun plans for the trade fair that i will keep tight lipped about, and we have also received some very very good news. Hold  the Front Pages is through to the semi-final of the National Varsity Pitch, and later in the month we shall be going to the competition and try to fight for a place in the final! The prize is ten grand so this is a pretty big one!

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Busy Busy Busy week

March 8, 2010
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This week has been crazy busy. So much action has been going on with our rentacoder pitch, and I have been discussing bids with the team, and also emailing the coders. I’m the most technical out of the 3 of us so I am doing the discussions and sending files and answering questions from the coder, which takes a long time. So many late nights… But the guy has been hired and he’s building the site as we speak. Tomorrow morning I am going to upload the front pages to our facebook page and start socialising HTFP!

Actually went to uni this week, and it was mildly interesting. Catherine introduced me to the idea of co-leadership, which I have decided to explore in Miguel’s essay, mostly because it ties in with something that happened on The office, one of my favourite TV shows, and I would love the opportunity to write an essay about my fav tv show. I am starting to not care about the essays though. I’m so bored of just Creative Economy, and part of me wants to just get it out the way and start my specialism. I got some super good news recently though, I have been offered an amazing Internship with the Royal Institute of British Architects in their Building Futures division as a Futurologist, so finally I will have something exciting and relevant in my life!

The Apprentice challenge was fun, it definitely showed me that Tshaped are capable of having some very interesting ideas, not just Hold the Front Pages, but again, all this teamwork and pitching is still a bit of a bore… (chocolate was awesome though). I would say my main disappointment with the course has been the lack of Economics in the Creative Economy. I studied that at school and loved it, and thought this course would at least contain a lecture on economic theory or something like that, because I think it is a really useful way of seeing the world and interpreting things.

Anyways, I don’t want to be super negative, HTFP is going great, and I am very excited about the upcoming launch, but maybe not the early mornings updating the site.

Also, I’m moving house and job this month, as well as starting my internship,  launching HTFP and writing an essay, so forgive my grumpyness.

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About author

Joe Peach is an Artist and Designer based in London, UK. At present, he is studying Sustainable Communities and the Creative Economy at Postgraduate level in Kingston University.